What Are These White Spots on My Teeth?

a girl is hiding her teeth from her hand


Have you been noticing white patches or spots on your teeth? Usually having white teeth is something to aim for but these spots are lighter than your natural enamel and brushing doesn’t get rid of them. Also known as white spot lesions, if you’re seeing these small discolored patches, make an appointment to see your dentist to get tips and discuss any necessary treatment options.

What Causes White Spots on Teeth?

Tooth Decay

Small white spot lesions are an early sign of tooth decay so get yourself to a dentist for a check up and professional cleaning. Poor brushing and flossing habits are one of the main causes for tooth decay so do yourself a favor and improve your oral healthcare routine.


This is also known as decalcification and means that bacteria are stripping calcium and other minerals out of your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, bacteria and plaque build up in the mouth, leading to demineralization and causing these white patches. It can also happen if areas around dental appliances such as braces aren’t cleaned properly.


Most commonly found in young children, fluorosis is an overexposure to fluoride which can result in patchy looking, streaked or speckled teeth. While fluoride is essential for healthy teeth, too much of it can alter the appearance of the tooth’s enamel. Excess fluoride can be ingested by drinking fluoridated drinks or not spitting out toothpaste after brushing.

Enamel Hypoplasia

Also found in young children with developing teeth, enamel hypoplasia means less or thinner enamel than usual. This affects the look of the teeth, as well as potentially causing other dental issues such as a higher risk of cavities and tooth sensitivity.


A diet poor in calcium means you’re not getting enough of the minerals needed to maintain your teeth’s enamel, resulting in white spot lesions. Upping your calcium intake will benefit your teeth and bones. Eating highly acidic foods will also wear away at your enamel so ensure you clean your teeth well if you’ve been drinking soda or eating citrus fruits, for example.

Mouth Breathing

If you sleep with your mouth open, you may wake up with a dry throat, some funky breath and white spots on your teeth. The good news is that these white spots are temporary and should disappear once you’ve brushed your teeth.

Will My White Spots Go Away?

If you just carry on as usual and hope your white spots will disappear on their own, they probably won’t. Luckily, in most cases, improving your oral care routine will also improve the look of your teeth. As there may be other issues underlying your white spots, though, it’s always best to check with your dentist. Missoula residents can consult with Discovery Dental Group to work out the best way of fixing those white spots on your teeth.

Ways To Get Rid of White Spots on Teeth

If brushing and flossing alone aren’t cutting it, your dentist has a variety of other options to get rid of the white spots or to improve the overall look of your teeth.

  • Microabrasion
    This is a conservative and minimally invasive technique to remove minor surface stains from teeth. Depending on what’s causing your white spots, this may be a good solution to clean up your smile.
  • Tooth Bleaching or Whitening
    For some patients with stained or mottled teeth, teeth whitening can be the answer. Discovery Dental Group offers custom trays with professional-grade bleaching agents to lighten and brighten your teeth. While it may not even out severely stained teeth, it’s usually worth trying dental bleaching as it’s a non-invasive and cost-effective treatment.
  • Dental Veneers
    If you’ve tried everything to get rid of the white spots on your teeth but they’re just not going away, try dental veneers. These ultra-thin porcelain shells fit over the front surface of your teeth, giving a perfectly flawless look. As they’re stain resistant, you won’t see any white spots forming on them either.


Ask Your Dentist About Your White Spot Lesions

If you’re worried about tooth decay or the aesthetic look of your teeth, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They are the best-placed people to tell you why you have white spots on your teeth and what you can do to fix them. Trust the professionals and you’ll soon be back to your smiling best.